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Tonights’s Greenwash Award — Extinction Rebellion & Occupy London

#ThisisaCoup #Hearts&Minds #EngineeringConsent

How does a “movement” that gained fame for disrupting and critiquing the wealth and power of the billionaire class end up praising the logo on the tie of a BBC broadcaster awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) at Buckingham Palace from the future King of England?

You’re not a #RebelForLife if you get on your knees for the Royal Family.

Especially not if you’re wearing an Extinction Rebellion tie!

This Forbes article (from March) discusses how philanthrocapitalists are absolutely falling over themselves to give XR money.

For more on the sinister side of Philanthrocapitalism, read Linsey McGoey’s No Such Thing as a Free Gift. It’s about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This next article breaks down who signed the letter in The Times in support of Extinction Rebellion from the Business Community.

Wrong Kind of Green

Bayer, who made the gas in the WWII Gas Chambers, talk about air pollution on EU Green Week.

The Largest Oil Firm in the World was overvalued

The Capitalist will Sell you the Rope to Hang him with. – Lenin

The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves – Lenin

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Punch & Judy Politics

Prominent centrist commentator Ayesha Hazarika has a new book out:

Punch and Judy Politics

Given Hazarika’s penchant for Corbyn-bashing, it’s funny to see Theresa May on the front cover, and not herself, armed with a stick with which to beat pacifist opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Perhaps the book’s front cover is designed to imply that Corbyn’s sexist and somehow encouraging of sexist violence.

Wasn’t Punch sexist?

Hazarika famously rolls with the Blairite crew, calling out sexism, but happy to launch unsubstantiated attacks on the Labour Leader.

She also does Theresa May’s politics much more than Labour’s.

To demonstrate this fact, here are some loving tweets from her ‘friend’ Tom Newton Dunn, the political editor of the right-wing, Brexit supporting Sun.

Show me your company and I’ll tell you who you are

Newton Dunn works with Harry Cole, formerly of hard-right Guido Fawkes.

Here Hazarika talks about banning all male party leaderships with David Cameron’s cousin, Harriet Harman.

As shown by the Labour Women’s lynch mob at the Marc Wadsworth show trial, truth and justice are no obstacles in the right’s rush to bin Corbyn.

5ae050561a00004300cdcca3.jpeg

This weekend Chuka Umunna claimed Labour is “institutionally racist”:

Here’s Jess Phillips as tweeted out by Guido Fawkes.

Phillips appears to get love from the Right because she is an anti-Corbyn fan of Jacob Rees Mogg who claims to be a feminist.

For more on how billionaires bought Brexit, check out my Real Media video interview with Byline’s Peter Jukes:

Corruption is abuse of power but also a single or a series of acts, none of which is necessarily illegal but, when viewed from a distance, can be seen to conspire against public trust.

Ayesha may, individually, be trusted. But when she and some of her friends start working together, that’s when the theatre takes over. Between them, the most corrupt activities escape scrutiny. And Punch and Judy is all we ever see.

Punch and Judy is released on BiteBack publishing, owned by Tory Billionaire Brexiteer — Michael Ashcroft.

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Ofcom Boss & BBC regulator, Sharon White, attended the 2017 BiIderberg Meetings with Osborne & Adonis

Sharon White, head of the BBC’s Regulator, Ofcom

Last week I contacted Sharon White, boss of Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, to inform her of her subordinate Chris Wynn’s aggressive attempts to curtail my activities.

What I’ve since learned has profoundly changed the way I view establishment coverups and corporate corruption.

Scope Creep

Chris Wynn, had been pressuring me to edit a  blogpost I had written about Lord Adonis signalling Ofcom and BBC collusive corruption over Brexit.

Little did I realise that, White, along with Lord Adonis and George Osborne attended the 2017 global elite Bilderberg Conference.

Sharon White is an ex-Treasury official and is married to Robert Chote, the head of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) a independent body that was set up by George Osborne to scrutinise his budgets.

The OBR became known as the Treasury’s poodle. 

White herself worked for the World Bank in Washington DC.

Her 2014 appointment as head of Ofcom was approved by then Culture Secretary, ex-Deutsche Bank toxic derivatives salesman, Sajid Javid.

in 2016, bullet-proof Javid, himself an attendee of secret hawkish US gatherings along with Michael Gove, admitted to Jon Snow live on UK TV that, along with everyone else at Deutsche Bank, he knew about illegal tax evasion schemes at Deutsche Bank, schemes which were designed to defraud the UK taxpayer.

 

Javid is now in charge of the police, the National Crime Agency, and the online fight against financial and cybercriminals.

In that same period Javid appointed controversial HSBC Director Rona Fairhead to head up the BBC Trust.

Email to Sharon White of Ofcom

The previous week I’d emailed Chris Wynn:

So far I’ve received no reply from Chris or Sharon.

Is this just old fashioned bad manners, or have cyberbullying and intimidation become official Ofcom Policy?

Hate Speech

We know Ofcom allowed the BBC to air Enoch Powell’s River’s of Blood speech in mid-April.

 

Windrush

Shortly afterwards it was revealed that the Tory UK Home Office had been illegally deporting British Citizens of Afro-Caribbean descent for several years and yet the entire UK media establishment, including every BBC journalist, had said and done nothing.

Similar BBC coverups took place with Jimmy Savile who operated with impunity throughout his lifetime and operated in plain sight.

At what point does it become ok to point out the elephant in the room?

Political appointees like BBC’s Media Correspondent Amol Rajan and George Osborne’s friend Sharon White are massively complicit and compromised. They’ve helped promote Enoch Powell but said absolutely nothing about the non-reporting of the government’s illegal deportations programme.

Bilderberg Meeting

The BBC’s Media Correspondent and its regulator, OFCOM, are supposed to inspire trust not rumours of cover ups and corruption.

According to this Sky report, Sharon White was one of only seven Brits invited to the last Bilderberg meeting.

Two of the others were George Osborne and Lord Adonis.

Billionaire’s Broadcasting Campaign

Sarah Sands, friend of David Cameron, ran the Evening Standard and was a colleague of Amol Rajan’s.

She openly backed Zac Goldsmith in the 2016 London Mayoral Election, renowned as one of the most racist campaigns in living memory.

She has since been made the Editor of the BBC Radio 4, Today Programme.  And George Osborne has replaced her at the Standard.

Osborne also squeezes in a day a week at Blackrock, one of the world’s largest Asset Management companies, with $6 trillion under management.

 

Revolving Door

BBC Media Editor, Amol Rajan, edited the Independent from 2013 to 2015, and was widely seen to have backed the Tories in the run up to their 2015 general election victory.

Rajan’s closeness to his former boss Sarah Sands, and their former boss Lebedev and, by extension, the Tory establishment, makes him anything but an impartial commentator on UK media affairs.

That the appointment of such a compromised figure to such a trusted position at such a sensitive time occurs with no national outcry speaks volumes about the “establishment’s” capacity to dismantle the potential for even the tiniest opposing view right before our eyes.

Back to Basics

At least things are out in the open now. The Tory sleaze that took down John Major’s government in the 1990s is back with a vengeance.

Whereas back then the likes of Ian Greer associates were involved in various levels of Westminster sleaze, the Tory government is way more in control of the media than ever before. The Tory war to shape public opinion has been characterised by its reliance on dark money think tanks and media outlets funded by dodgy donors such as Lord Ashcroft.

But there is still the problem of the social media and the youth vote.

An organisation whose very ethos is the promotion of inequality, by definition will have to use psychological operations to confuse swing voters into voting against the majority’s interests in favour of billionaires.

The rise of Momentum and Novara and the inability of so called Millennials to get on the housing ladder or find secure employment all work against the Tories.

Thomas Frank wrote Pity the Billionaire in 2011 in which he outlined how Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Network in the US epitomised the Tea Party’s radical right conservatism. It was a movement directed at the poor but in service of the rich. Trump’s alliance between the Alt-Right, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Wall Street being its logical conclusion.

Media and Culture Secretary Matt Hancock received plaudits last week for saying he would clamp down on social media providers while maximising “freedom of the press”.

By “Freedom of the Press” we mean freedom for billionaires.  Does clamping down on social media mean that Google and Facebook will have to start paying taxes or that we can prepare for some curbs on freedom of speech?

According to a recent Reporters without Borders study, Britain came in at just above Burkina Faso for Press Freedom:

The Ofcom Racket

Just as the polls have proven to be useless and credit ratings agencies and audit firms have been used to rubber stamp fraud in the highest places, so too is the Office of Communications (Ofcom) an institution which places the safety of normal consumers and citizens at the very bottom of its priority list.

With Osborne’s fellow Bilderberger, White, still in charge of regulating the BBC, the foul elitist stench of corruption still coming out of  Ofcom and the UK broadcast media shows no sign of abating.

Amongst Friends

The pop singer Lily Allen was invited to a garden party in the summer of 2016 and took the following pics.

 

Seeing that Osborne’s pro-Putin boss hangs out with Farage and Murdoch puts a whole new spin on things.

In a way all the posturing makes more sense now. The Brits have a history of selling weapons to both sides.

So why wouldn’t UK institutions themselves be open to capture?

London has been the home to oligarchs and billionaires for several years now.

With so much capture taking place under the surface – and yet in plain sight –  who  amongst you never thought that one day the chickens would come home to roost?

What can be done?

There is too much silence and darkness where there should be conversation and light. The politics of information, transparency and privacy need a radical restructure. And this only happens if we are prepared to go to first principles and set up systems that prioritise the values we hold dear as a society. Just in case there is any confusion about what those values are, perhaps we should use these various political crises as an opportunity to clarify just what is on the table and how much we are prepared to give up to achieve our goals.

This isn’t supposed to be an anti-Russian or anti billionaire diatribe. Merely a stimulus for conversation about corruption and what you might like to see done about it.

 

 

 

 

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Ofcom Director denies Collusive Corruption

Ofcom’s Collusive Corruption

Ofcom Director of Communications Chris Wynn got in touch over Monday’s blogpost.

I just assumed this was spam. Later that day I got a reminder: Not wanting to seem rude, I sent Chris a reply:

The next morning Chris took things up a notch:

Chris was now doing to me precisely what he was accusing me of doing to Lord Adonis. Ascribing a meaning that simply wasn’t there.

We were arguing over the use of the word “over”. At least that’s what I thought.

I was still hoping things could stay friendly.

Getting a bit repetitive.

 

And finally:

I managed a reply:

 

Can we finish this?

And back to square one:

Let me reiterate:

Chris Wynn has been at Ofcom for over ten years and used to be a journalist. Can’t think why he feels the need to play games.

As Ofcom regulation of the BBC only started in 2017,  there might still be teething issues.

Still doesn’t explain why Ofcom are turning a tiny blogpost into such a big deal.

It’s common knowledge that the BBC is biased and that Ofcom is a toothless regulator.

And Fake News is now part of the lexicon.

Corporatist  voices and organised silence of Carbon Bubble, Clean Air and Climate Change are all classic symptoms of a captured media regulator.

How can Ofcom’s Director of Communications, Chris Wynn, deny that Ofcom, the BBC’s regulator, has a problem with collusive corruption?

The perception of bribery and corruption in UK business has been getting much worse over the last six years according to Big Four Audit firm Ernst and Young’s latest fraud survey.

E&Y Fraud Survey

Screenshot of the Executive Summary

OFCOM ruling on Climate Change

It is the first time Ofcom has found the BBC in breach since taking over regulation of the corporation in 2017.

 

So Ofcom took more than 7 months to find the BBC had breached their own broadcasting rules. From August 2017 to April 2018

That’s a long time to correct climate denier Brexiteer Nigel Lawson. Why so long?

And what have Ofcom got to say about the way the BBC legitimise deregulation, fracking and war?

BBC silence about the merging of corporate and state interests is consistent with collusive corruption and the dehumanising corporatist dismantling of public services.

BBC’s political presenters attack anyone with an ecological worldview even though it is widely understood our air is not clean and that pollution kills.

Ofcom is ok with Andrew Neil presenting BBC politics programmes while speaking at antisemitic Hungarian think tanks and chairing the Spectator whose assistant editor is racist Rod Liddle and whose culture critic is the openly fascist James Delingpole.

David Goodhart and several BBC commentators dismiss Windrush deportation cases as mere bureaucratic oversights. Imagine saying that about Nazi deportations? It was called a hostile environment. And Ofcom and the BBC did nothing to help report the illegal deportations as they happened

I wonder why.

Some of Ofcom’s top brass are very much on the gravy train. They are mainly ex-Treasury and audit people.  The ones policing the content are mainly ex-BBC. So conformity is scripted. The type of culture change we need to get a progressive agenda at the BBC and other Public Broadcasters just doesn’t exist. There is too much co-operation with the old way of doing things.

This is Lord Burns. Crossbencher in the Lords but obviously a Tory.

Terry Burns aka Teflon Terry, Lord Ubiquity, Lord Fixer (I’m not making this up) is on the Ofcom Board.

 

Talk about safe pair of hands!

He’s not on the Gravy Train. He is the Gravy Train.

There’ll be no interesting decisions under him.

Then there’s Baroness Noakes.

Jim Waterson of Guardian Media says that though Noakes is a card-carrying Tory, like others on the Ofcom Board,  she can’t be done for bias because there is no business decision that she has taken that can be seen to be influenced by her political position.

This is because Noakes deals with finance and not content. But funnily enough, I can’t find any minutes of what she has actually said in any meeting. So it looks like we can’t know.

Do she, or the other Tory directors,  have any say in choosing who regulates the BBC? .

It’s still altogether wrong that Noakes retweets Brexiteers, Privatisers, the Israeli Ambassador and Climate Deniers while chairing top committees at Ofcom and RBS. She’s also on an EU Lords Subcommittee.

It’s plain wrong to act as though she has no authority. She has. How is she using it? We deserve to know.

It’s a common perception that the BBC is super biased.

How can Noakes get away with being at the top of Ofcom and voting with the Government, but never get questioned over conflict of interest?

 

And when this government goes?

Ofcom will still be staffed by Lords and Baronesses on the Boards of several other firms.

IT’S NOT RIGHT.

In 2016 former Minister for Culture, Karen Bradley kicked former editor of the Economist Bill Emmott, off the Ofcom content and main board for being too pro-EU.

But Noakes is allowed to stay because her politics don’t actually affect her ability to be on the board.

What does the rest of the country think? Most people will never know as our media keeps this type of thing quiet.

 

 

Even former staff say it’s corrupt at the highest levels.

 

 

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News

Off Track — How the Oil Lobby is Taking Us Straight to Hell

Off Track

Off Track is a recent report from Oil Change International on the future of Oil investments, as things stand, and why what is happening is so wrong.

BP AGM 2018

In Friday’s edition of Amusing Ourselves to Death, Real Media flagged the BP switch to Manchester for their upcoming Shareholder Meeting.

We hope there will be some interest in the proposed Share Action workshop in Manchester the first week of May.

The more locals state their opposition to fracking at the BP AGM the more people will know about the dangers.

BP’s Mancos Shale Project in New Mexico

If someone from a fracked community in the United States comes to Manchester to point out the immediate impact of BP’s projects, it will be great opportunity for dialogue between communities that might otherwise not get the chance to learn from each other.

It turns out that BP’s fracking in New Mexico is taking place on sacred tribal land.

Who will pray for Lancashire outside the BP AGM on May 21st 2018?

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Theresa May’s Corruption-as-a-Service and the Visit of the Torturing Saudi Prince

PLEASE WATCH THIS 5 MINUTE VIDEO

Bloomberg has just shown that the May Government’s proposals to shut the Serious Fraud Office are part of the UK’s post Brexit offer of Corruption-as-a-Service.

UK territories already include tax havens like Jersey and the Cayman Islands, so why not go the whole way and get rid of fraud prosecution altogether?

Steve Middleton, Financial Adviser and Founder of Bank Confidential, says that if you’re an up-to-no-good financial services outfit, who would you rather be on your case, Hercules Poirot or Inspector Clouseau?

That is the current state of affairs in the UK with the FCA, Bank of England, City of London Economic Crime Police, Audit Firms, Law Firms, SFO and the revolving door with the Banks.

As long as regulators are muzzled and employees afraid to speak out, the culture of Omertà that financial journalist Ian Fraser has said exists in UK financial services will never go away.

A potential whistleblower has to jump through many legal hoops in order to get whistleblower status and all for very little reward.

See it. Say it. Sorted.

The government’s recent “See it. Say it. Sorted.” campaign applies to unattended baggage and foreign looking individuals,

But as pointed out by the Bloomberg Report, the government’s entire post Brexit strategy is premised on suspect packages of cash making their way into the UK financial system with absolutely minimal questions asked.

The “See it. Say it. Sorted.” campaign is run by British Transport Police which reports to the Home Office.

Contrast that with typing  “Speak up”, “Whistleblower” into a UK-based search engine. What you get is a fractured wild west of consulting firms all of whom are competing with each other to get private sector contracts to help companies deal with whistleblowers.

That’s right, containing whistleblowers is a business opportunity in the UK whereas in the US they have their own whistleblowing agency which pays whistleblowers in the case of successful prosecutions.

Hostile Environment

The hostile environment that Theresa May has chosen to create for immigrants in this country does not extend to dirty money, dictators, or the proceeds of massive financial crime.

Senior Saudi Officials are in town this week. The type that hire American mercenary firms to torture their own cousins in American owned Marriott Hotels in order to extract $100 billion and show everyone who’s boss.

This would be equivalent to Amber Rudd hiring ex-Met Chief Phillip Hogan Howe’s new HSBC financed security firm to torture the previous Home Secretary Theresa May for a few months in exchange for her and her husband’s pension and most of their life savings.

Of course all talk of British made bombs being dropped on innocent hungry Yemeni children is off limits.

The UK is still angling for the Saudis to give clearance for Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil firm,  to float on the London Stock Exchange.

Such a transaction would allow for millions in commission to float through to the City of London and to the advisers on the deal – HSBC.

One of the main advantages the UK has over the US is that in the UK no-one will ever bring a lawsuit agains the Saudis for harbouring terrorists.

In New York, lawyers are licking their lips at the chance of winning compensation for 911 victims from Saudi Arabia as 11 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.

If Gadaffi had to pay for Lockerbie than why not the Saudis?

So UK really is selling immunity as a service. The ultimate form of liberalism. We believe in a form of diversity that takes in acceptance of war criminals and genocide as well as mere guns, drugs and terror.

I interviewed anti-corruption campaigner and HSBC Whistleblower Nicholas Wilson during the last election and he explained the situation nicely:

Nicholas Wilson has blogged, tweeted and spoken about these issues and UK politics in general from an HSBC angle. The data he presents and the power mapping he has done points strongly to the systems that are in place to protect the UK establishment as well as transnational corporations at the expense of much human life and the environment. To those of you who are interested in political puppetry and the revolving door, I strongly suggest following his campaign.

Public Relations

You have to admire the chutzpah of these Tories. It’s all done in plain sight and they only ever lie about it when questioned.

This puff piece in defence of Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) is by an employee of the Islamaphobic Henry Jackson Society and appears in the Independent which is owned by the same Russian Oligarch that employed George Osborne to edit the Evening Standard.

The Standard and Independent’s mission is therefore clear: Oppose Brexit but promote anything which protects billionaires, like money laundering.

Osborne

On Thursday George Osborne, current editor of the Evening Standard and architect of extended austerity policies that inflicted misery on millions, issued a self congratulatory tweet upon the news that the austerity deficit target had finally been met, two years after he was ejected and nearly 8 years after it started.

 

The question i ask myself is whether anyone is going to get the Labour Party to debate these issues openly and vigorously and put clear unambiguous pledges and policy in its manifesto that can stop this sort of thing forever.

Those who wish to contribute, please step forward.

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Flagrant Contempt of Parliament by Crony Capitalist Sir Howard Davies of RBS

Do we live in a truly decadent age?

Can anyone get away with anything?

These are questions I feel compelled to ask after watching just a few minutes of Howard Davies and Ross McEwan, of the taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), giving evidence before last Tuesday’s Parliamentary Treasury Select Committee.

To not, as a society, vehemently question the goings on at these proceedings implies a collective post traumatic stress disorder following the 2008 crash that has robbed us of the dignity and empathy that we need to recover.

But recover we must. Current tolerance levels for corruption and injustice remain incredibly high and we all too often simply carry on.

Dialectic-as-a-service

 

Rushdie used to quote Kundera by saying that man’s struggle against the system was like the persistence of memory when trying to forget.

What happens when we can’t forget?

Madness is rare in individuals – but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

What happens when powerful individuals are given platforms to defend corporate criminality while the rightful anger and people’s sense of injustice is segmented and siloed off to the point of non-existence, like the risk on a series of high risk collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) repackaged as Triple A reliable investments during good times only to re-emerge as toxic during the bad.

The risk and the anger never go away. They just get stored up for a later date. “They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind”.  Some will wonder why no-one heeded the warnings. How the journalists are to blame just as much as the government and the bankers.

Maybe the warning signs are hidden in the business pages. As Harvey Cox says in The Market as God, the concepts in the business pages are theological. Redemption and Retribution. People getting away with stuff and others getting punished. Why does God permit it?  Nowadays we have PR people, Regulators, Central Banks, Blacklisted Whistleblowers and a growing number of unhappy customers.

If you kick off about this stuff, people ridicule you for making a big deal out of nothing, for being an anti-business Social Justice Warrior that knows nothing about the way of the world.

If the facts of life really are conservative then why make a fuss about anything?

Anyway, here’s that master class in how to carry out state-sanctioned cannibalistic, rampant Crony Capitalism in broad daylight — and get away with it.

Lots of innocent Small Business Owners have been asset stripped of their families, marriages, businesses and homes by the RBS Global Restructuring Group (GRG), and all many of them will get is this:

It is hard to see which features of Crony Capitalism don’t apply here:

Crony capitalism is an economy in which businesses thrive not as a result of risk taken for them, but rather as a return on money amassed through a nexus between a business class and the political class. This is done using state power to crush genuine competition in handing out permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of state intervention[1][2]over resources where the state exercises monopolist control over public goods, for example, mining concessions for primary commodities or contracts for public works. Money is then made not merely by making a profit in the market, but by profiteering by “rent seeking” using this monopoly or oligopoly. Entrepreneurship and innovative practices, which seek to reward risk are stifled, since the value-add is little by crony businesses as hardly anything of significant value is created by them, with transactions taking the form of “trading”. Crony capitalism spills over into the government, the politics and the media,[3] when this nexus distorts the economy and affects society to an extent it corrupts public-serving economic, political and social ideals.

The term “crony capitalism” made a significant impact in the public as an explanation of the Asian financial crisis.[4] It is also used to describe governmental decisions favoring “cronies” of governmental officials. In this context, the term is often used comparatively with corporate welfare, a technical term often used to assess government bailouts and favoritistic monetary policy, as opposed to the economic theory, described by “crony capitalism”. The extent of difference between these terms is whether a government action can be said to benefit the individuals rather than the industry.

Off with their heads. No questions asked.

But for some reason, the British sense of fair play perhaps, they remain.

But how long can this carry on?

Here are the rules on lying to Select Committees from a Parliament Document: 

So none of what is said in a select committee hearing can be relied upon in civil or criminal proceedings against anyone but attempting to mislead is Contempt of Parliament.

I’m still waiting for the full transcript of Davies and McEwan’s hearing to go up. I feel the people at Parliament are dragging their feet.

I’m realising that Howard Davies’s chiaroscuro can be found near pretty much every financial crime scene going. With previous like you wouldn’t believe.

McKinsey, Treasury, Seconded Special Adviser to Nigel Lawson when he was Thatcher’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Bank of England, Head of the Audit Commission which is now defunct but was instrumental in overseeing Thatcher’s Privatisation and Denationalisation agenda including Fraud Investigation, the London School of Economics from where he had to resign because of his closeness to Colonel Gaddafi, and now he’s the Chair of the Fraud Machine that is the 71% taxpayer owned Royal Bank of Scotland.

Here he is on PFI. 

For more on how banks treat their customers, their staff, and the whistleblowers that speak out, follow Real Media, financial adviser Stephen Middleton, Bank Confidential,Kam Sandhu, Joel Benjamin, Ian Fraser, and Whistleblowers Mark Wright & Nicholas Wilson:

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Theresa May winds up China to please Trump — what about Hinkley & HSBC?

The FT says Theresa May won’t endorse the Chinese Belt and Road initiative.

The BBC:

Here’s HSBC’s website

HSBC has been named Best Overall International Bank for Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the inaugural Asiamoney New Silk Road Finance Awards, reflecting the Bank’s commitment to being the leading financial partner to clients engaged in Belt and Road projects.China’s Belt and Road Initiative is creating enormous business opportunities throughout Asia, Africa and Europe which HSBC could help you exploit. Covering two trade routes, the overall objective is to increase regional trade and encourage economic cooperation.

Stuart Gulliver, September 2016:

Nicholas Wilson, January 2018:

Meanwhile Cameron’s China fund is apparently hitting problems:

For more on HSBC, China, the French, and UK Nuclear Power Plant at Hinkley Point:

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The Infinite Meaning of Meaning

Some people see meaning when it just isn’t there.

But maybe it is – just not in the way you think.

And who am I to presume what you’re (not) thinking?

Start again.

There is meaning.

Perhaps more meaning.

Than.

I.

Realised.

But the pre-meditated, agenda-pushing, social engineering nature of this message may not be as clear as a Chanel or a Tory Saatchi ad.

What would Barthes say?

And what of Jung?

Is my shadow bursting out of the shadows?

Are my deepest most repressed desires all simply masquerading themselves via randomness?

Or has an experiment in image generation let me colonise semiotic space by repurposing otherwise dormant media so as to to operationalise my own bit of harm reduction?

maybe

such undertakings leave little to the imagination.

Di(c)e-Sect a.k.a. Random De’ath Cult

Speaking of Rednecks / Bannonites:

Kulchur

Ezra Pound starts his defence of totalitarianism known as the Guide to Kulchur with a reference to a conversation involving a Chinese Philosopher on the topic of government, law & language.

The first thing is to agree the terms. He prints Chinese ideograms. Some repeat.

 

 

 

 

So Pound is against the Clouding, the Vagueness, the Shadow.

The double standards.

The lack of a go to point where meaning is meaning and not Machiavellian semantic gymnastics.

We have this today with Shadow Banking which is an activity in which all major banks are players — and with the use of this word Regulation.

Once we go into the regulatory space then it becomes a civil matter.

No such thing as a Corporate Criminal!

And the Police will tell you to call your lawyer.

Brexit means Brexit.

Q: What do you like about Pepsi?

A: It is the Taste of a New Generation.

When marketing bleeds into news you have a world full of shadows.

From the flickering light of the Sun as viewed indirectly from inside the Cave to the Electric Flicker of the Mobile Smart Phone competing for your attention with actual traffic and real world goings on.

Have we become fully Cyborg? Part Man Part Machine.

Of course there would be no advertising per se in a truly totalitarian society. Advertising is driven by tapping into people’s free desires. So what is the difference between today’s China and ‘the West’? Or Russia for that matter?

We are amusing ourselves to death. 

Shirley Robin Letwin in her On the Idea of Law references Plato’s idea that if a law is wrong, it must stay wrong  until it is updated. In some systems this would have been every five years.

Better there be injustice for all till the bad law is updated – or instead everyone will turn a blind eye to the bad law – and the good law as well!

They say the best way to get rid of a stupid law is to apply it fully — to the letter.

As Mencken said :

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

Does this make Shirley Letwin, Ezra Pound and Ayn Rand Crypto-Fascist Proto-Platonists?

Who wants the Law updated every five minutes?

Now that we have access to real-time updates and big data, continuous consultation could be an imminent reality.

Nothing describes the pitfalls of modern British politics better than the closing scene of The Rise of Michael Rimmer.

Discrete vs Continuous

A bit of continuity might help. Walter Lippmann, in Public Opinion, refers to those people who lived in peace after war had been declared simply because they hadn’t yet heard the war had started.

In the same way there are those for whom there will never be peace.

Permanently living in the subjunctive.

The role of fiction & theatre for the anti-truthers.

The rapidity with which truth subverts itself to reveal yet more truth at a scale so granular as to elude reasonable immediate inspection yet somehow capable of permeating through to all.

One has to either be very clever or try very hard not to feel it. Our society excels at both. From the outstanding declarative to the merely procedural.

From neoteny to phylogeny. The Master and his Emissary. Left Brain / Right Brain. Iain McGilchrist.

The recreation of the journey of human consciousness from zygote to foetus to birth – thousands of generations of evolution in just nine months.

Laputa

Jonathan Swift’s mysterious flying island of Laputa features in two places of significance for me.

At the beginning of Nicholas Dunbar’s Inventing Money – on the downfall of the Long Term Capital Management Hedge Fund staffed by Economics Nobel Prizewinners who perhaps should have known better. LTCM’s collapse was a notable pre-cursor to our post 2008 too big to fail bailout culture.

And in Alfred Korzybski’s Science and Sanity as recommended by the wonderful Robert Anton Wilson.

Science and Sanity was published in 1933 and opens  with a quote about the mysterious flying island of Laputa in Gulliver’s Travels.

The Laputans’ collective consciousness enabled the island to fly.

Was Swift satirising scientists? Full of knowledge but lacking basic wisdom?

The island was a place where they were very good at music and mathematics and interested in little else.

not unlike our current love of sharing songs on social media to help marketing firms target us with the data we generate:

If you look at the bottom of the image above, I like how the guy who came up with the term self fulfilling prophesy also wrote a book called Mass Persuasion.

And spawned a mathematician, Robert C Merton,  who, with Fisher Black and Myron Scholes, created a derivative pricing mathematical model which in non financial engineering terms could legitimately be described as a money machine.

Shun peer pressure from social media or the internet. If you reveal your opinion to a group with strong views, the sociologist Robert K. Merton has warned, the ensuing debate becomes more “a battle for status” than “a search for truth.” Instead, get a second opinion from one or two people you know and can trust to tell you if they think you are wrong.

But as Donald Mackenzie of the University of Edinburgh points out in – It’s an Engine Not a Camera – the point of these mathematical models which are based on imperfect economic and psychological assumptions is not to be correct.

They are simply designed to make money!

And if they go wrong – we shouldn’t be surprised because truth was never their purpose.

A source of confusion when marketing rubs shoulders with fact.

When the Calculus was invented many scientists went around saying that what they had discovered was wonderful but they didn’t know why it worked.

In the case of financial engineering, the bottom line is the bottom line.

Korzybski said:

The Map is not the Territory – The Menu is not the Meal.

Bit like Magritte:

And his pipe:

Took me forever to realise that it’s not a pipe – but an image of a pipe.

Korzybski speaks of abstraction:

There are no illusions. Only what we abstract.

Neil Postman, follower of Marshall McLuhan fused his Medium is the Message argument with George Lakoff’s Metaphors we Live By to produce: The Medium is the Metaphor in the first chapter of his 1985 work: Amusing Ourselves to Death.

McCluhan was a Catholic and heavily influenced by GK Chesterton who also influenced Jorge Luis Borges.

Borges is himself referenced in Dunbar’s Inventing Money.

The Garden of Forking Paths is quoted in reference to option pricing. So many possible futures. We happen to be friends in this world – doesn’t mean we would in any other.

Borges himself was interested in Infinity.

One of the best books I ever read was Jorge Luis Borges and the Eternal Orang-Utans

whose title is inspired by the idea that if you give a chimpanzee a typewriter and infinite time it will eventually write the works of shakespeare.

imagine my joy when I saw the Thomas Mullaney book on the Chinese Typewriter – in front of which I would be no different to an Orang-Utan!

Tamil is the oldest spoken language. I no longer speak it but here is a recent talk in Tamil on Borges. I only found it because I couldn’t find my favourite sound recording of Garden of Forking Paths.

How Borgesian! All things for a reason. Or Not.

Discriminate.

I am that.

Things. Consciousness. Bliss.

 

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News

Theresa May decriminalises Bribery, Fraud & Election Rigging

The American satirist HL Mencken famously quipped that no-one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American people.

But here in Britain we have a different maxim:

No Tory ever lost out overestimating the gullibility of the British Voter

I interviewed David Whyte of the University of Liverpool about various aspects of corruption last week.

He called for an investigation into allegations  the Tory party has received funding from laundered HSBC money.

Yesterday the Conservative Manifesto included proposals to scrap the Serious Fraud Office :

Tories are also proposing that all voters provide ID cards to vote – a move which has been criticised by the Electoral Commission which itself recently concluded that the Tories themselves broke electoral rules regarding local spending limits in the 2015 election.

The Tories got away with this and are now seeking to undermine the smooth running of future elections.

This is the sort of thing you expect from Turkey, Russia, or even Iran.

May is very scary. I cannot emphasise enough what  a bad idea it would be to vote for her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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News

British media prefer Marine Le Pen to Jeremy Corbyn DESPITE ALMOST IDENTICAL ECONOMIC ARGUMENTS

Rupert Murdoch prefers Marine Le Pen to Jeremy Corbyn as she is, like himself, a racist anti-EU campaigner.

But if you forget about race and look at international trade and financial markets — her views are much more like Corbyn’s than Murdoch’s.

She’s a protectionist.

This is the same direction opportunist Theresa May is now taking when she steals Labour policies.

But May is still a ruthless Tory – paying off her friends in the finance sector while saying she will protect the NHS and public services.

Populism

Nigel Farage was allowed to open the door to ‘populism’ in the UK and, having achieved his aim of getting Britain out of the EU, he is now openly supporting Marine Le Pen.

I wrote about his interview with Le Pen a few months ago which was remarkable because till Brexit he avoided being seen in her company for fear of being called a fascist.

The interview was also interesting because Le Pen referred to how much more similar Theresa May’s policies now are to the Front National’s — and not to Emmanuel Macron’s.

This was even more remarkable for Le Pen because Macron had just been invited to visit Downing Street and she hadn’t.

Downing Street failed to get friendly with Trump before November and now, yet again, they are slow to get to know Le Pen.

But either way, as alluded to in the previous post, Le Pen’s differences with Trump, Farage and Murdoch, and similarity with Corbyn can be summed up in one word: DEREGULATION

Murdoch

Today’s Murdoch-owned Times quotes Marine Le Pen’s father, Jean Marie Le Pen, who founded the Front National, as saying she must act like Murdoch’s friend — Donald Trump.

Mr Le Pen’s anti-semitism is not even mentioned till the eighth sentence.

The very idea that other racism might exist in France is not alluded to even once.

Murdochs and Trumps

Unlike the Blairs before them, we know the Murdochs and the Trumps still get on.

Many Brexiteers love Le Pen as she is anti-immigrant and anti-EU.

Here is Donald Trump Jr retweeting his dad’s friend Nigel Farage:

Here’s the actual video:

Deregulation – The Elephant in the Room

Like Murdoch and unlike Corbyn, Le Pen uses immigration to divide.

Lots of people in the UK are now sceptical about Globalisation – many vote UKIP, Labour, Green, and SNP.

By stealing Labour policies and rhetoric the Tories are picking up plenty of ex-UKIP votes.

With the media’s help they try to convince voters that Blair, Cameron and even Corbyn are far too metropolitan and somehow un-British, and that we  should all get back in touch with our socially conservative inner-Tory.

Many of these voters are against excessive immigration and open borders.

Which Corbyn and Lib Dems are seen as soft on.

We’re constantly told that we want a strong leader. Like May, Trump, or Le Pen.

Now is Le Pen’s time because she goes one further than Corbyn, Sturgeon, Lucas and even Theresa May.

For Le Pen is both fully racist and fully anti-capitalist — wanting total protection of both borders and markets.

She needs to solve France’s unemployment and lack of productivity without acknowledging that the EU has historically protected its borders and markets (often to benefit France!)

Is Le Pen more scared of the Eastern Europeans who’ve used free movement since communism fell; the refugees from US / UK / Coalition operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria; or of immigrants who’ve moved to France not because of the EU but because of France’s own kleptocratic African, Asian and Caribbean  adventures?

Deregulation

Unlike Trump, Farage and Murdoch — and very much like Corbyn — Le Pen is fervently anti-Deregulation.

Farage ran a very confused Brexit campaign that focused on Brussels’ authoritarianism and ignored the degree to which Brussels had been infiltrated and in many ways captured by the City of London’s lobby group.

For evidence of this lobbying just look at the EU -US trade agreement TTIP.

This policy was announced by Obama and Cameron in Northern Ireland at the G7 / G8 meeting in 2013 and would have harmonised food, labour and environmental regulation on both sides of the Atlantic.

It’s precisely that model of Anglo-Saxon style capitalism that Le Pen and Corbyn both reject.

Farage just pretended to hate it. He is actually a big fan of the financial services lobby. It’s where he gets his cash.

But still, lots of Brexit campaigners, including Farage, jumped on the momentum that had been generated by the Anti-TTIP movement to push for Brexit.

In France, Le Pen used TTIP to push for her own election.

This is the most irresponsible manner in the way the French election is being covered here in the UK.

There is not enough parallel context being drawn with the UK political scene..

Is Le Pen being praised by the British press simply because our newspaper owners think she is a bit like Theresa May?

EU debate

The way the European Central Bank is run is severely flawed but little discussion of its policies are permitted to take place at any level.

Therefore even though  many people know there is a problem,  our media and politicians don’t permit us the space to discuss it.

Many Labour and Lib Dems seemed to have swallowed deregulation whole and by aggressively campaigning to remain in the EU didn’t permit debate of its flaws.

Jeremy Corbyn  was an exception to that as he said he was against TTIP and deregulation. But he wasn’t given the platform that he deserved.

He was co-opted by the Remain camp.

His biggest failing on Europe was that he didn’t take more of a stand in public over TTIP.

Despite letting people know his views on Trident and Bombing Syria Corbyn never engaged in a public debate with his party about TTIP and so the deregulation lobbyists captured the entire debate.

They’re doing the same with the NHS and PFI.

So despite having some great ideas about taking back control, Corbyn’s project is being treated as a joke while Le Pen’s is taken seriously.

Corbyn’s patriotism is being rejected by the tax-avoiding foreign-owned media in favour of Theresa May’s lies which are designed to mask the looting of the UK public sector by the financial services sector.

Will Labour come up with a plan to save the NHS by prosecuting bankers for fraudulent PFI?

I asked them that very question this week and have been told Labour’s  PFI announcements are due later in the campaign.

I suggested that we need ideas circulating asap in order to persuade people to ignore the spin. But so far no reply.

It’s now or never. I’m still waiting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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News

Chinese Central Bank Clobbers All UK Students By Raising Rents & Tuition Fees

Made In China

Real Media’s latest video reveals how the UK’s proposed University Laws have been drafted to suit the People’s Bank of China — also known as the Chinese Central Bank —  the world’s second largest financial institution.

UCL Rent Strike

I was first told this story last month by David Dahlborn, a history student at University College London (UCL). He is the Student Housing officer at UCL.

Dahlborn informed me that students in London are being systematically overcharged for University accommodation.

The UCL Rent Strike Campaign have discovered the revolving door between their University and its largest private accommodation provider — UPP.

UPP

Last year UCL Estates Office appointed Duncan Palmer the ex-Managing Director of UPP’s Residential Services as their Head of Student Accomodation.

The wording on Palmer’s LinkedIn profile is consistent with the revolving door theory as it says he only has an interim role at UCL.

The general feeling is that Palmer is going to hand over as much of UCL’s housing stock to his former colleagues at UPP as he can — before returning there himself.

UCL have been asked via Freedom of Information (FOI) request to supply details of all correspondence between Palmer and UPP but there is no guarantee they will co-operate.

The Rent Strike have not yet attempted to monitor Palmer’s employment contract with UCL.

David Dahlborn showed me in UPP’s accounts that their major shareholders are a Dutch Pension Fund and the Chinese Central Bank.

Chinese Central Bank

This Wall Street Journal piece shows the Chinese Central Bank have recently been taking quite an interest in Britain.

Further googling told us that UPP sponsor the Higher Education Commission which lobbies government to raise tuition fees and increase the size of student loans.

In December 2015 UPP released their Work Hard Play Hard report on Student Experience

And surely enough in the Queen’s Speech, Student Experience is used to justify rampant marketisation of the University Sector as the UK positions itself as a Global Academic Supermarket.

 

#rentstrike